Archive for June, 2013

Cannabis is Safer Than Sugar

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This past week for me could easily be described as “Sugar Hell”. I had a powerfully negative physical and emotional experience that came about directly because of ingesting sugar.   I’ve come out on the other side wiser and more convinced than ever that avoiding sugar is a good thing.

About 3 months ago I quit eating all forms of processed sugar. After only a few days I started noticing positive changes like less pain, more energy, and happier moods. It was also about the same time that I started taking raw cannabis and was feeling way better than I had felt in a really long time. So, was it the no sugar or the raw cannabis that was making me feel so good? It was definitely both. I took a few weeks away from raw cannabis and still felt relatively descent until sugar showed up again.

Nutrition school and books have told me that sugar will suppress the immune system, interfere with the absorption of calcium and magnesium, contribute to inflammation in the body, cause depression, cause headaches (including migraines), increase fluid retention, age skin by changing the structure of collagen, contribute to diseases like osteoperosis, arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, cancer, and Alzheimer’s. It’s kind of major and yet I still find myself eating it even though I suffer from more than one of those listed ailments!

Books have also told me that sugar is addictive. Like every person who has ever raided a cookie jar doesn’t know that, right? Sugar is addictive firstly because eating only a small amount will create a large desire for more. You will make (sometimes ridiculous) efforts to get it regardless of whether you are hungry or not. Secondly, sugar is considered addictive because suddenly quitting sugar altogether causes withdrawal such as headaches, fatigue, mood swings, and cravings.

Now, I have experienced sugar cravings, withdrawals, and binges before but this past week was different partly because it had been so long since I had experienced the side effects and they were no longer a normal part of my day. It happened on Tuesday…

I knew I was going to be driving by one particular gluten-free bakery last week that makes yummy vegan peanut butter cookies. Not sure why I even drove into the parking lot. I went in, they didn’t have the cookies but I still managed to walk out with two vegan cupcakes. Before I was even out of the parking lot I had scarfed down one of them. Within 5 minutes I started into the second one, got part way through the second one before I had to stop from a stomach ache and my tastebuds asking for a break from sweetness overload. It was a little crazy and intense. I went home and needed to take a nap. Then I ate what was left of the other cupcake. The next morning, no joke, I woke up later than usual with stiff inflammed joints, no energy, depressed, angry, and craving sugar. I am normally a morning person.

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Over the next couple of days I got sucked into a couple more weird sugar binges. I also found myself with zero energy, in pain, needing naps in the afternoon, depressed, and annoyed by everything. I felt stuck in an uncomfortably familiar dark grey hole and knew that the only way I was going to get back to my energetic, optimistic, happy self was to get away from the sugar again.

I’m happy to report that it is day 6 without sugar and the cravings are subsiding. Day one, my body felt so congested that I couldn’t reach within 3 inches of my toes with straight legs. By day five, I could seriously reach beyond my toes. I’m also feeling more energy, brighter moods, and an extremely bloated stomach has returned to its non-sugar self. Before week “Sugar Hell” I was dancing everyday but since the cupcake incident up until yesterday music no longer made me feel like dancing. That is not how I intend to go through life!!

Here are a few things I did to get through “Sugar Hell”:

1) I medicated with cannabis to treat the aches and pains, the digestive issues, the depressed moods, and the mental fog. (For the purposes of saying in the title that cannabis is safer than sugar I would like to add that there are no withdrawal symptoms when cannabis use is suddenly stopped. Not to mention that it also helps to treat the very symptoms caused by sugar. You connecting the dots too? Taking sugar regularly causes diseases. Taking cannabis regularly treats diseases.)

2) I used food to manage my desires for sugar by keeping regular eating times. I made sure to get plenty of protein and healthy fats with each meal which helps immensely to combat sugar cravings throughout the day. I also loaded up on veggies- especially all of the green colored ones.

3) I drank plenty of water to stay hydrated and help my body cleanse itself.

4) I exercised and sweat every single day. Nothing will lift your mood, loosen up your body, cleanse your lymphatic system, or make you feel better about yourself quite like a good workout. Even on the tough of days.

5) I made more time to do sweet things in my days. Spending time outside appreciating nature, sending positive notes to people I care about, quiet time meditating, playtime with friends, and practicing gratitude for the goodness in my life. Funny how you won’t seek out food for those happy feelings when you can get them from other sources.

6) I meditated and practiced breathing a lot. I found myself incredibly anxious this week so being able to tune in to my body and relax was really helpful and nice.

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If I didn’t have cannabis, recovering from the toxic effects of sugar would have been extra unpleasant. That kind of sounds ridiculous when my cupcake eating self reads it out loud, but it’s totally true. 

-TwiceBaked

The Defeat of Chronic Pain

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The Defeat of Chronic Pain

As chronic pain teaches me lessons each morning,

I daily devise a plan to defeat it.

It’s not the roller-coaster ride pain of my 20′s,

That was almost fun in comparison.

It’s this defeating, nagging pain that just kind of showed up

And never went away.

I deeply respect what it is saying,

But dealing with it daily

Feeling it in the first movement of the day

In the first big breath of the morning

Can be absolutely defeating.

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I don’t want to get sucked into the feeling of defeat

That will make you believe you are less than you are.

So I dip into my toolkit of good things.

I take a moment,

Breathe, medicate, breathe

And find relief. (Thank you cannabis.)

Suddenly I can breathe easier

And feel good stuff too.

Suddenly I can move better

And do good stuff too.

Make no mistake

Pain is not to be ignored or tolerated.

Depression is nothing to mess with.

If there is no choice but to fight it,

Do so by filling up with good in your life.

Excel in kindness and compassion.

Love yourself.

Be kind to those around you.

Eat more greens.

Drink plenty of water.

Stay surrounded with positive, supportive people.

Be grateful.

Stay Lifted.

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And give Chronic Pain two middle fingers as you dance by.

-TwiceBaked

Combining Cannabis with Exercise: Good Idea or Bad Idea?

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Exercise has never felt like an option for me. If I don’t move daily, I can quickly fall into a dark place where chronic pain makes moving feel too hard to do and I tumble into a perpetual story about how I am in too much pain to move so I try not to do too much. This is a bad place to reside. I’m here to tell you that even if you can only move a little, you should be doing so daily. For some, cannabis can be a positive tool in maintaining a positive exercise routine.

Before I get too far into how awesome it has been for me to mix cannabis and exercise I would like to remind everybody that if you are new to cannabis or exercise, I recommend knowing how your body reacts to each individually before combining the two. Cannabis affects your heart rate and your blood pressure as does exercise so it is wise to make sure that both together is really a good idea for you before you decide to medicate and go to the gym. Also, be aware of how the cannabis strain that you are taking will affect you, as each one is different. I recommend trying a ‘sativa’ strain that allows you to mentally focus and makes you feel energetically uplifted. 

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Cannabis is a tool that I have used to get more out of my workouts since, like, the 90′s. I first combined the two during a time in my life where I lived at the gym teaching fitness classes, travelled everywhere by bicycle, and if I was in one place long enough I would spontaneously start stretching. Cannabis and exercise together felt like a match made in heaven. I had amazing mental focus and was able to feel everything in my body during my workouts. And, while management didn’t know it at the time, I would frequently smoke cannabis right before getting on stage to teach my classes. It relaxed me and allowed me to focus on taking care of a room full of people coming there to be motivated and energized.

The first time that I combined cannabis with yoga was a spiritual experience for me more so than yoga had ever been up to that point. Not only was I able to really focus on my body but I was given the ability to relax enough to feel all that other stuff that comes up in yoga too. When I added friends to the experience we named it “Green Yoga”  and girl’s night became our time to stretch, laugh, and do something positive for each other and ourselves.

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Ahhh, memory lane. Let me bring you up to speed on this subject for me today. I wish I was just using cannabis for a lovely workout and mental focus. Cannabis serves a much bigger purpose for me now. I use it for relief of chronic pain so I can move. And then…I take full advantage of every single second that moving feels good. I walk, I dance, I stretch, I strengthen, and I breathe. There can be no more excuses when the pain is relieved because that was the only thing slowing me down before.

Right now using cannabis to help me exercise and live comfortably is working. It is helping to keep my muscles relaxed, relieving the unbearable moments of feeling-trapped-in-your-body discomfort, and mentally uplifting me through these challenges. Ah yes, and it’s keeping me moving to the point that most people in my daily life would never know that I ever struggle to move like anything but Gumby.

Dear Cannabis,

Thank you so much for this. XO…

-TwiceBaked

 

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Marijuana Brownies are So Last Year: New MMJ Products!

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This weekend I found four new cannabis edibles at the farmer’s market that not only work with my food allergies but fit in with my lifestyle better than the traditional marijuana brownie or sugary junk medibles that I wouldn’t consider medicine if I was dying. I know Mary Poppins told us to wash our medicine down with a spoonful of sugar, but you can’t trust that witch no matter how awesome of a babysitter she would have been.

Four New products I found this weekend. (and my humble reviews):

Zombie Juice. (pictured above) A green drink made with fruits, veggies, and superfoods combined with 150mg of Pure n-Tane Honey Oil (a cannabis concentrate). I drank just under half of the bottle first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. I could feel the effects within about 40 minutes. The juice had a mildly heady effect (but pleasant), very physically relaxing, and allowed me to comfortably get everything I needed to get done through the day with good energy. I could taste the cannabis oil in it enough to remind me that I was taking medicine, almost like a tomato aftertaste that I didn’t love. Overall, an effective and lovely day was had. I drank the other half the next morning and had a similar effect only it didn’t seem to have the same aftertaste that I didn’t love the first day, it tasted just like a green drink and the effects were just as potent as the first day. Not sure what was going on with my tastebuds for it to be so different from day one to day two but that is what I experienced.

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Cannabis Comfort Chewing Gum: Created by a woman who was inspired by her sick grandfather to make a non-toxic medicated chewing gum that could also provide relief from severe dry mouth. I popped a piece in and chewed it for about an hour even though I really only needed to chew it for about 15-20 minutes. The effects were mellow, relaxing, and uplifting. I love how very stealth this delivery method is. It doesn’t taste or look like cannabis, it feels like gum and it lasts longer than you need to chew it for to get the medicinal benefits. Kudo’s to you, Cannabis Comfort, this is a great product!

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Coco Canna Taco Chips: Made with Cannabis infused coconut oil and gluten free! Plus the dosing portion was small enough that you could eat them in a minute and get the medication process going. I’m not a big fan of savoring my cannabis medibles. I am taking them to be medicated and want the effects to usually kick in as soon as possible. The chips smell a little of cannabis and have a slight aftertaste, but the taco flavor was good and the chips were beautifully crispy. Perfect with a little guacamole. I tried these in the afternoon. They have a blend of sativa and indica cannabis which gave an uplifting effect without putting me on the couch. Very nice.

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Meditiva medicated mouth Spray. I was skeptical about this one but tried it none the less. 3-4 sprays under the tongue. I felt the effects in about 20 minutes. It tasted good and gave a full body, relaxing effect with an uplifting mood. Over the past couple days this has become one my new favorite medicine choices. I love that it is stealth, takes 2 seconds to take and you can feel the effects quickly. Kind of genius, if you ask me. Wish I would have gotten more than one bottle although it looks like I’ll get quite a few servings out of the little bottle that I got.

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This brings me to a quick update on the Bhang Cannabis tonic that I tried last week before realizing it had gluten containing ingredients. I randomly met somebody from the company and told them my experience. He said he would investigate into it more and felt sure that they used dried barley and rye grasses which, in theory, would not contain the gluten protein. Not sure if he will really look into and I have’t heard from him since but I appreciated his kind response and wanted to share that with you too.

So maybe the world of cannabis medibles is getting better for a bubble girl like me who doesn’t eat gluten, dairy, eggs, or sugar which is found in most products. The options are getting wider for us health conscious people who are actually using cannabis as to improve our health. That is a beautiful thing.

I’m feeling pretty grateful this week to have so many good MMJ options right now.

-TwiceBaked

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